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Who says representative democracy is deeply flawed?

The voting nail in the coffin of UK representative democracy

This blog first announced the terminal decline of representative democracy in May 2016. Since then, the EU referendum, Trump’s election, Erdogan’s referendum, amongst others, have enabled sizeable but minority intolerant inward-looking electorates to empower authoritarian-leaning leaders, promoting xenophobic and ultimately right wing elitist agendas. The expectations are Theresa May will ride a reactionary populist wave

Spot the development economist!

‘Learning tango in Buenos Aires’ and other Brexit coping strategies

Anyone who has ever seen me dance will know that my going to Buenos Aires to learn tango is absolutely insane. If you haven’t ever seen me dance, think May’s Brexit madness – an awful idea, atrociously executed, leading to a gratuitous infliction of massive self-harm – and you’ll more or less get the picture

We desperately need a new narrative for 2017...

The plot against Europe: Part Three – The fightback

Probably the least convincing part of Roth’s ‘The Plot Against America’ is the denouement. Lindbergh’s widow appeals for a turn away from KKK-led violence; Roosevelt is reelected; equilibrium (and the ‘American way’) is restored. In the epilogue, it is explained quite plausibly that it was a Nazi plot all along. I await Mrs Trump’s corresponding

Cohen left us with 'you want it darker?' but we need to create new hallelujah's

The US/UK plot against Europe: Part Two – ’you want it darker?’

  On October 21st 2016, Leonard Cohen released his last album – ‘You want it darker’. He passed away on November 7th, a day before Trump’s extreme kind of darkness descended on the US. ‘You want it darker’ reconfirms his 1992 analysis of the US as a laboratory where confrontations between race, class, gender, sexual

Will 'The Plot against America' play out as the 'Manchurian Candidate'?

The US/UK plot against Europe: Part One – Coup d’etat

In 2014 I read Philip Roth’s ‘The plot against America’. My memories of its political backdrop are of Charles Lindbergh – the famous aviator (and populist ‘hero’ of his day) becoming an unlikely Republican presidential candidate. He beats Roosevelt in the 1940 election on an America-First, anti-war, anti-semitism ticket. As President he signs non-aggression pacts

Nissan, CETA, Heathrow and the BREXIT virus…

I hate to start a piece with a cliche, but ‘we live in extraordinary times’. With a rampant BREXIT virus it is almost impossible to make any sense of the feverish narratives of post-referendum Britain. This piece considers three ‘decisions’ last week – the Nissan announcement of new investment in Sunderland; the signing of the